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Joffrey Mavericks of American Dance on TV

January 2, 2013

The Joffrey in Gerald Arpino's <em>Light Rain</em>For many years, the Joffrey Ballet regularly visited San Francisco, but that was long ago. To make up for a bit of that absence, you can now watch the new documentary film about the vision and artistry of Robert Joffrey's and Gerald Arpino's bold, edgy, vital company.

After the recent round of theater showings, Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance will be screened next week on PBS' American Masters series, including KQED stations.

The documentary combines archival footage with excerpts from many seminal Joffrey dances, tracing the history of the company, its financial struggles, and how the Joffrey reinvented itself time and again. Mandy Patinkin narrates.

While the KQED ch. 9 "flagship" is not showing the program, KQED Plus (Jan. 7, 10:30 p.m.; Jan. 8, 4:30 a.m. — yes!) and KQED Life (Jan. 14, 7 p.m.; Jan. 15, 1 a.m.) will carry it.

Meanwhile, here are some online videos from the documentary, each preceded by a 20-second commercial, and linked to essays and interviews:

- The making of Astarte, Joffrey's first multimedia production, combining ballet and rock 'n' roll, dealing with hippies, sex, art, and politics.

- Excerpt from Parade, Robert Joffrey's landmark revival of Massine's 1917 Ballets Russes masterpiece with sets by Pablo Picasso.

> The Green Table rehearsal, a Joffrey specialty, the 1967 revival of Kurt Jooss' memorable 1932 antiwar statement.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].

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